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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first taste of Batman finally gets the gold treatment
Nostalgia
It has to be said that my review may come across as biased - I first saw this film when I was roughly 6 when the BBC premiered it at Christmas in 1991 - I fell in love with the dark and twisted world of Batman. This particular interpretation of the Dark Knight was a breath of fresh air for many fans, so far as they could tell from the trailer (which I...
Published 1 month ago by Thomas Leslie

versus
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It has dated quite badly
Wow, this film seemed so impressive and mystical when it was released in 1989. Clearly heavily-influenced by Frank Miller's efforts to turn Batman into a mature man's superhero, but also with an added surreal twist that was plainly all director Tim Burton's own, beyond doubt there was nothing quite like it in the realm of superhero movies, at least back then...
Published 15 months ago by Mr. M. Odoni


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first taste of Batman finally gets the gold treatment, 24 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Nostalgia
It has to be said that my review may come across as biased - I first saw this film when I was roughly 6 when the BBC premiered it at Christmas in 1991 - I fell in love with the dark and twisted world of Batman. This particular interpretation of the Dark Knight was a breath of fresh air for many fans, so far as they could tell from the trailer (which I gather people saw when they purchased cinema tickets for other films - then when the trailer was over, they would leave the cinema) which showed a far different Batman to the campy and colorful 1966 Adam West TV series, which seemed to overshadow any seriousness or tragedy for which Batman's origins are now far more well known. The movie incorporates set designs which echo the 1930s through 40s but then crosses that over with 1980s cars/technology and fashion. Michael Keaton's unexpected choice for the Dark Knight is both calm as Bruce Wayne, but intense and intimidating as Batman. Kim Basinger gives a good performance as Vicky Vale, though I feel that particular interpretation of the character would be better off in this day and age changing into a far more confident role (for which the Video Game Arkham City has accomplished). Jack Nicholson's acting as the Joker is exemplary, a top notch performance backed up by classic Hollywood stars like Pat Hingle as Commissioner James Gordon and Jack Palance as mob chief Carl Grissom. Despite this being one of the far stronger films of the original Batman Motion Picture Series, I have found over the years that it is not so fondly remembered as I had thought.

Differences from the comic books (+++SPOILER ALERT!!!+++)
The main pieces of the the film which displeased fans at the time were mainly being that Bruce Wayne's parents were not killed by Jack Nappier (the man who would become the Joker) and that Alfred had let a journalist into the Batcave. This is extremely out of character for the faithful butler who has protected and looked after Bruce Wayne's secret since the day he took up the cape and cowl. Although as a Batman fan I can completely see that changing his origin story is not a good decision, I still can forgive this film for making changes.

DVD Review
The release of this DVD set was exciting, as for years Batman fans only had a very vanilla DVD copy with only a trailer and cast list for special features. The documentary with it's interviews and stock footage of behind the scenes set designs and historical account of Comic Book to Movie is a must watch for any Batman fan or enthusiast.

All in all, a wonderful movie in a great package.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vision not fully realised, but still a template of sorts., 11 Mar 2013
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Batman [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
It could never have lived up to its hype back in 1989, it was hailed as the film to rival the impact of Jaws & Star Wars as regards historical cinema conventions, it was we were led to believe...a new age in cinema, or so it seemed. As it was, the film went down a treat for the modern cinema going audience, it raked in cash galore and spawned a raft of very inferior sequels, but ultimately critics of the time were less than impressed.

So it was something of a puzzling viewing for me tonight as I revisited the film for a first time in many a year, I remember the hype and marketing campaign that ensured that the film could never live up to the gargantuan hype, and I'm honest enough to say that I found it a big wash out on my first watch in 89, but time has been kind to it now because of the numerous comic book adaptations since Burton had the nous and foresight to reignite a genre.

Visually the film still stands up with the best that todays genre pieces can offer, the sets are incredible and Anton Furst rightly won the big award for his work here, whilst Burton's dark and deep tone captures the essence of Gotham City and Bruce Wayne's troubled mind perfectly, but does the cast fully realise the potential on offer? Sadly for me I just don't buy Michael Keaton as the troubled and vengeful Bruce Wayne, he is a fine actor that just doesn't quite cut it in the brooding close to madness department. Jack Nicholson has the time of his life camping it up as The Joker, he steals the film for sure, but not because he is acting with great poise and class, but purely because in a film calling for the battle of two unhinged characters, he is the one awash in colour and overacting the maniacal side of the character to the max.

Kim Basinger looks great and doesn't have to do much as Vicki Vale except say her lines right, pout, look scared when required and scream with conviction, she does all these but really any other actress could have done the same thing, tho I'm personally relieved that Sean Young dropped out of the film and thus allowed some other actress to step in. The supporting cast do OK, and although the soundtrack by Prince pushes the boundaries of annoying caricature indulgence, it does work and the film remains today a very decent watch, but you can't help feeling that there is some great Burton vision here that never got fully realised, and that is a damn shame. 7/10
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A postmodern classic gets the 2 disc treatment it deserves!, 19 July 2007
By 
D. Laurikietis "darkknight_uk" (North West England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
One really can't overstate this film's lasting impact on contemporary Hollywood cinema. While Richard Donner's Superman laid the foundations Tim Burton's gothic masterpiece established what we know today as the comic book adaptation as huge summer event flick. The commendable successes of the recent X Men and Spider-Man franchise owe their success (and indeed production) to the 1989 Batman.
There's nothing I can say about the film itself that hasn't already been said. But just in case you spent the 80s and 90s on the moon;
It looked amazing in 1989 and it still looks amazing today!
Michael Keaton silenced any critics with his deft portrayal of a tormented, psychologically plausible Dark Knight and remains my favourite big screen Batman (with Christian Bale a close second).
Jack Nicholson's Joker provided us with one of the most iconic screen villains of all time.
But I'm assuming you know all about the film.
You want to hear about the DVD don't you?
You know when I bought my first DVD player back in '01 I was shocked and appalled that I couldn't find a Special Edition of one of my favourite films Batman. So I stuck with my VHS copy until I my girlfriend bought me the vanilla DVD one Christmas. Still I yearned and cursed Warner Brothers for not giving Bat-fans and cinema enthusiasts the 2 disc treatment that had been awarded to so many lesser films.
While it was a wait of nearly 5 years WB really pulled out the stops to create a Special Edition worthy of the Dark Knight's legacy.

The film itself has been completely remastered. Grain is seriously reduced (no mean feat in a film with this amount of matte work), colours (particularly blacks) are nice and rich which is essential in a film with this dark a palette, and the film is generally much crisper and sharper. The 5.1 and DTS tracks are superb and really do justice to Danny Elfman's score. Tim Burton's commentary track is pretty good. Anyone who's seen an interview with him knows he prefers to let the films speak for themselves but he raises some interesting points on why he knew Keaton was the man for the job, why Robin was cut from the film and what HE would have done with Two Face.
Disc 2 is where the real meat of the extras lies in easily negotiable (but sadly non-animated) menus.
Legends of the Dark Knight is an in depth look at the origins of the comics and the varying multi media representations of The Batman from the Pulp rooted violent detective of the 30s through to the swashbuckler of the 40s (and visiting the enjoyable movie serials of 1943 and 1949 along the way), the time travelling, space exploring self parody of the 50s and 60s and the darker return to source material of the 70s and 80s culminating neatly in the work of Frank Miller and its effect on the Batman film. While the 60s TV show is mentioned it is (unfortunately) devoid of footage, presumably due to the ongoing rights wars between WB and Fox for the show. Narrated by Mark Hammill and featuring interviews with everyone from Stan Lee to Frank Miller to Dennis O'Neil this is a quintessential Batman documentary.
The 3 Shadows Of The Bat documentaries comprehensibly track the film's long, LONG journey from conception to post production in an incredibly informative and enjoyable way from the perspective of Executive Producer and Bat-fan Michael Uslan. Interestingly these run all across the 4 Burton / Schumacher films and are an excellent means of illustrating the journey the franchise took in the space of 8 years.
The Beyond Batman documentaries are slightly smaller, more manageable featurettes that document every aspect of production from the production design to scoring.
As if all this weren't enough there are some nice little touches like the fun but short On The Set With Bob Kane segment and the Heroes and Villains mini segments in which Batman comic writers, the film makers and the actors themselves share their thoughts on what the character is all about. Another neat little segment is the Robin Animated Storyboard Sequence. Voiced by Batman Animated Series actors Kevin Conroy and Mark Hammill this illustrates how the introduction of Robin might have looked had it not been jettisoned.
In conclusion this 2 disc DVD is one of the few Special Editions truly worthy of the title. WB have finally given The Dark Knight his due!
Thank you reader for making it all the way to the end of this extremely long winded (but I hope, helpful) review!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman, 23 Feb 2008
This review is from: Batman [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
Batman shows a mature, dark side of the Caped Crusader, and is portrayed by the dark and mysterious Michael Keaton and directed by Tim Burton.

Michael Keaton is absolutely amazing in this movie. With all the doubt going on at the time about the Batman movie, casting Michael Keaton was a mistake etc. But it wasn't. As Tim Burton himself says, Michael Keaton seems like the kind of person that would have to dress up as a bat. Val Kilmer and George Clooney do not seem like that kind of person. Jack Nicholson is amazing as the Joker and he made it darker than the Joker was in THAT TV show. Kim Basinger is a very good leading lady in this movie (and she wasn't originally the actress wanted by Tim Burton!) And yes, Tim Burton faced a hell of a lot of slack for focusing too heavily on the Joker, but both Batman and the Joker are done credit here.

Batman-the best superhero movie, about the best superhero (my personal opinion, as Batman has no super powers and is just an 'ordinary' guy. (OK he's a billionaire playboy but you've got to love him.)

The film never gets dull!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE DARK KNIGHTS FINEST HOUR!, 24 Mar 2004
By 
This review is from: Batman [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
This is (in my opinion) the best Batman film ever! Batman Returns is a respectable sequal, but this was the most successful film for me. Michael Keaton is the most believable Batman and captures the essence of the Bruce Wayne/Batman character perfectly! Jack Nickleson is brillant as the Joker (the best of all the Batman villains!. It is probably the darkest of all the films, Tim Burton does a brillant job at creating a dark and disturbing Gotham City with much corruption!
Now onto the DVD.... the DVD is somewhat lacking in features and extras with a few commentaries and biographies but not much else!
There is no evidence of deleted scenes or music videos or feature presentations on stunts, scenes etc. This is rather dissapointing for a DVD release, I hope that a bigger and better DVD package of this film will be released soon!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid release on Blu-Ray for Burton's Batman, 29 Jan 2009
By 
K. O'Leary (Milton Keynes, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was looking forward to Batman coming to Blu-Ray, I like the Nolan films just as much but find Jack Nicholson's Joker far more enjoyable than Heath Ledger's.

Warner Brothers have chosen to let the film start almost immediately, without the chance to select options from the menu; rather annoying. This also means that if you wish to watch any of the extras (there is an exhaustive library of documentaries and interviews) you have to select them from the pop-up menu while the film is running, and when you finish it returns to the film - I find that a little weird.

Image quality is very good and a huge improvement over the DVD, I'm pretty familiar with this film but found I was able to detect more emotional nuances than usual in the faces of the actors, the quality certainly seems to add something to the performances. It should be spectacular if it is ever re-mastered, but for now, it's still pretty good. I wouldn't go so far to say this is as good as Blade Runner though, which is exceptional.

I haven't heard the HD soundtracks, but the standard Dolby Digital 5.1 is a little disappointing, it's too quiet and occasionally seems to drop into mono, or at least partly, with dialoque suddenly spreading to the front left and right speakers. This may be of interest to others like me who haven't upgraded yet from their original surround set-ups for DVD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm BatMan.", 7 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. C. Gelderd "aka GelNerd" (Basingstoke, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The first major feature film for the Dark Knight (removed from the 60s Adam West adaptation) was to introduce audiences to the real Batman; dark, broody, exciting and dangerous. Director Tim Burton managed to deliver on all points mixed with his trademark blend of gothic surrealism and black comedy. The push for DC to launch the marketing campaign to really spread Bat-mania around the world was kick started by this major blockbuster and was the foundation for home media, music soundtracks, toys, clothes and games. It was almost the ‘Star Wars’ of the 80s in terms of marketing a franchise.

Michael Keaton embodies an everyday quality to his Bruce Wayne. He’s not overly tormented and broken like modern interpretations now portray him, but keeps his grief and reservations inside. He uses them as a weapon in his role as Batman to become a dark, silent avenger of justice and the balance is perfect because of this. Keaton splits both “characters” perfectly, much like Christopher Reeve did with his Clark Kent / Superman role. He ticks all the boxes and certainly proved to doubters he could convey Batman as a dark and dangerous crime fighter with the imposing presence in the suit, his looming voice and involvement in the action.

The supporting cast are equally enjoyable in their roles, never coming across as hammy or mis-cast. Basinger, Wuhl, Palance and Hingle play the clear lines of good and bad and are strong actors themselves to bring their characters to life to either oppose or work with Batman in their own way.

It’s Jack Nicholson however whom Burton clearly focuses on as the Joker, bringing an eccentric, psychotic and deadly essence to the character who has a clear trait as a manic criminal. Nicholson has a devilish glint in his eye at all times and he acts the fool perfectly, but never leaves doubt that he kills for pleasure and is 100% dangerous. With brilliant one-liners and a nightmarish quality to his visual look with the emerald hair and ruby lips, our Joker is certainly more humane in some aspects as we get to see his origins, but he certainly becomes a monster whom you can’t help enjoy watching thanks to Nicholson’s eccentric performance.

Looking far more like a film noir comic than most other super-hero films, it is almost a timeless film that could be set in the 50s or modern day thanks to Burtons’ visual style like trilbies and trenchcoats for the majority of the male cast and smoke rising from the man-holes between tall, dark and industrial looking skyscrapers. It’s a Gotham City you can’t really place in time or match to any other location. It’s a character in itself to capture the action in, and looks very good because of it.

With effective use of miniatures and models for the action sequences involving lots of fan favourites such as the Batmobile and Batwing, Burton ensures we get as much action from the Dark Knight as we can as well as a decent narrative exploring human tragedy and redemption in the comic-book world. The set design is very faithful to the comics as well is the costume and make-up for our hero and villain with Batman staying dark and broody and the Joker a camp and deadly adversary.

While the film can stray a little in terms of fluidity and the Joker can be a little repetitive in his slap-stick eccentrics, it doesn’t take long to get back on track with a bang and continue the excitement. It actually plays out at times more like a detective thriller, which essentially is what Batman should be seen as; a detective working in the shadows rather than an invincible super-hero.

Still, it’s great fun and very visually stunning as a comic-book adaptation, introducing Batman to old and new fans and ensuring that Keaton is the man who can carry on numerous adventures in Burton’s faithful world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Batman but not as I know it., 4 Mar 2008
By 
As somebody that has loved the batman mythos for over twenty years I have to say that this movie is absolutley superb. While it can be considered as an 'elsewords' take on the batman which takes severe liberties with the overall story arcs (The joker didn't kill batman's parents, harvey dent is white and becomes two face!) It still maintains the ethos of the character and takes it too a new and interesting place. While batman begins sets its stall in a more realistic take on the dark knight (begins is superior to this but only just!) burtons vison sets up Gotham city and its architecture as part of the tortured soul of bruce wayne, here corruption, graft, murder are all par of the course. The designs for the costumes point toward the old pulp comics in which kane based his vision on originally such as 'the shadow'. The film is dark, people always comment that this joker is a fun trickster but they have clearly missed the point, here is a man who disfigures an innocent woman's face, kills his detractors and shows no remorse. The joker here is a dark psychotic madman. Yes he's fun but you wouldn't want to meet this guy in a dark alley! Another Myth is that Nicholson steals the show, while that is true to an extent I dont think the people that make that comment appreciate that burtons batman lies in the shadow and is therefore a more introverted batman in the film. This does not make either actor, nicolson or keaton better or worse in this movie it just means that the joker is by definition the focal point of the extroverted style which he has in the comics and in this movie. I dont like getting into which batman films are better but just to say that batman, batman returns, begins and the forthcoming dark knight are the greatest not only batman films but comic book adaptations in the world. Thankyou to Burton and Nolan for giving us TRUE BATMAN FANS what we deserved after years of kapow crap.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman, 25 April 2008
By 
M. G. Hatfield "trekle5" (North Wales UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the first Batman of the series with people like Val Killmer playing the dark knight (Batman).

Michael Keaton play the Batman in this movie as with all UMD film they are wide screen and DVD quailty but no extras like with DVD's one advatage to these small disc is you don't need expensive DVD players in the car for long jounreies plus the PSP has a headphone socket so no noise or very little to disturb others.

I think this UMD is great for the movie but if you are looking for extras then stick with DVD's or Blu-ray discs.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly amazing film, 3 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Batman [VHS] [1989] (VHS Tape)
This is by a long,long way,the best Batman film out of all four.To me,Michael Keaton is the best Batman out of all three actors who have played him in the movie series so far.The other thing I like about this movie is that Gotham City is showed just as it should be - dark and gothic looking.Tim Burton did a fantastic job directing and every actor in the film deserves credit.But the one who deserves the most is Jack Nicholson for his performace as the Joker.He steels every scene he is in.Even if you're not really a Batman fan do yourself a favour and see this great film. You won't be disappointed.
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Batman - Limited Edition Steelbook [Blu-ray] [1989] [Region Free]
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